Blake Brand has a bronze medal to his credit from the Ontario Summer Games.
The 14-year-old son of former Sting and Ontario Hockey League scoring champion Aaron Brand was part of a volleyball squad from southern Ontario that went 7-3 and finished third at the recent elite provincial competition at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
The Lakeroad School grad, who is about to begin high school at SCITS-St. Clair, was chosen for the regional team following a series of tryouts in an area from Windsor to Kitchener.
He was the only Sarnia player selected.
A former hockey and soccer player, Brand tagged along with a friend to a house league tryout with the local Twin Bridges Volleyball Club four years ago, and has been playing the sport ever since.
“I enjoy doing it,” he said. “It’s all about playing together as a team and keeping each other positive.”
Brand lists digging and passing as his best attributes on the court and says he’ll need to improve on spiking to advance to the next level. To improve his game, he hopes to play with London’s Forest City Volleyball Club this coming season.
He has aspirations of playing with Ontario’s provincial team in a few years with an eye on cracking Team Canada and potentially wearing the Maple Leaf at the 2024 Olympics.
“That’s where I want to be,” he said. “Team Canada is my big goal.”
As for dad, Aaron Brand admits he’s still learning the nuances of volleyball, but is enjoying watching his son compete at a high level.
“I think it’s great that he has found his own sport that he’s excelling at,” he said. “Something that he chose to do.”